Sometimes thinking is a bad idea. Ian Leslie draws on Dylan, Djokovic and academic research to put the case for unthinking
Unthinking is the ability to apply years of learning at the crucial moment by removing your thinking self from the equation. Its power is not confined to sport: actors and musicians know about it too, and are apt to say that their best work happens in a kind of trance. Thinking too much can kill not just physical performance but mental inspiration. Bob Dylan, wistfully recalling his youthful ability to write songs without even trying, described the making of “Like a Rolling Stone” as a “piece of vomit, 20 pages long”. It hasn’t stopped the song being voted the best of all time.
ATAR cut-offs are not useful measurements of student potential in the demand-driven system, the vice-chancellor of Charles Sturt University has argued.
ATAR has been the subject of media scrutiny since it was revealed some universities were admitting students 40 points below course cut-offs. Professor Ian Jacobs, University of New South Wales vice-chancellor, has since proposed scrapping the ATAR entirely and finding another measure of student success.
CSU professor Andrew Vann, who is also chair of the NSW vice-chancellors committee, said while he wouldn’t scrap ATARs entirely, the uncapping of university places has limited its effectiveness.
“ATAR originally was at its strongest when we had a capped system and the job that universities had to do was to allocate too many students to not enough places,” Vann told Campus Review. “As we’ve expanded the system, that still works for some courses, but it’s become less relevant, so universities are using much more diverse ways of admitting students now.”
Vann argued that ATAR cut-offs are now measurements of course demand and quality, rather than an indication of the academic ability needed to study. Furthermore, ATAR varies from postcode to postcode, due to scaling.
Last week one of the founding fathers of personal computing, Marvin Minsky, died at age 88. It so happened that I’d been reading about some of Minsky’s work at MIT in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy. Levy recounts how in 1961 Minsky encouraged and supported some of the first human encounters with real time computing, opening the door for undergrads to experiment with DEC's (Digital Equipment Corporation) first product, the PDP-1. These students formed a collectively brilliant group united by their obsessive love of computing, who came to call themselves hackers.
Since we all know that kids today are stupid and modern education is rubbish, it might seem unlikely that, in fact, humans have been getting steadily more intelligent for at least 100 years. But that is what a study, carried out by the University of Aberdeen, says: and, specifically, it says that during the years of rationing during and after the Second World War, there was a particular leap in smarts among Britons.
Counterintuitive though they may be, the Aberdeen study's findings are not new. They are a confirmation of something called the "Flynn effect", which has been well documented for more than 30 years. (Note: I know intelligence and IQ scores aren't necessarily the same thing; however, there is almost certainly a large overlap, since scores in IQ tests are correlate very well with test scores in school and academia, as well as life success and social abilities.)
Information page for the UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge (Australia) - Water and sustainability game for school students.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN ECO CHALLENGE AUSTRALIA
I’d just like take a quick moment of your time to tell you that Curtin University is proud to announce that it is once again the Australian organiser for participation in the UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge.
We’d love to welcome you and your students to Eco Challenge for 2016. You can get a sneak peak of the new website here where you can register your interest, download the new Facilitator’s Guide and connect with a range of other resources.
Previous winning teams: 2014: Kent Street Senior High School 2015: Rossmoyne Senior High School
REVISED GAME PLAY
UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge provides an exciting and authentic learning experience for students in Years 7-12 through the online strategic game, Aqua Republica, to explore issues and solutions relating to water management and sustainable development. The age limits are not strict – capable upper primary students are also welcome.
The new mission-based approach to Eco Challenge incorporates a more sustained engagement with the principles of water usage across industrial, urban and agricultural systems and the impact upon ecosystems. Climate change is also a major consideration.
A stigma against autism is “reasonably common” throughout Australian schools, an expert has argued.
A recent Senate inquiry found parents of kids with autism are actively discouraged by some schools from enrolling their child. This occurs across the public, independent and Catholic system, the inquiry heard. Rozanna Lilley, from Macquarie University’s Institute of Early Childhood and mother of a son with autism, said school choice is “severely limited” for a parent whose child has autism.
Are you a visual learner who writes notes in a rainbow of different colors, or do you have to read something aloud before it will sink it? Chances are, you’ve been asked a similar question at some point in your life, and believe the concept of different “learning styles” is perfectly valid. But, as Quartz reported in December, we all learn in fundamentally similar ways. And, as New York magazine reports, the idea that students learn differently depending on their personal preference for visual, auditory or kinesthetic cues is just a myth.
In fact, it’s considered a “neuromyth,” which, as Paul Howard-Jones, professor of neuroscience and education at Bristol University, writes in a 2014 paper on the subject, is characterized by a misunderstanding, misreading, or misquoting of scientifically established facts.
Educators take note: it’s time to make way for Generation Z (Gen Z).
In a recent study by Barnes & Noble College, 1,300 middle-school and high school students ages 13-18 from 49 different states shared their attitudes, preferences and expectations regarding their educational and learning experiences. The findings from the study are clear: Gen Z is significantly different than previous generations, and these students will bring both challenges and opportunities for the future of higher education.
Perhaps contrary to some perceptions, this next generation of students sees a higher education degree as extremely valuable, with 89 percent rating its value as “very high.” Unlike Millennials, who pursue personal fulfillment more widely than financial goals or job titles, Gen Z values college most as a means to secure a good job. It stands to reason then that their number one concern is whether or not they will be able to find that good job after graduation.
Welcome back and welcome to the first episode of Inside Curtin for 2016. This Orientation special introduces our students to elsie, a mobile-friendly app designed to make uni life simpler. It showcases our Curtin students volunteering for a great cause during last year’s John Curtin Weekend and reveals our new social media control room, The Agency, an innovative and challenging environment for our marketing students. There is also an interview with Director Learning and Engagement David Gibson on what’s new with Curtin Challenge.
Current and past individual stories from available for viewing on the Inside Curtin web series playlist.
Episode One screens daily in Wesfarmers Court at 10am and 1pm as part of our one-hour Curtin TV program.
The above image comes from a presentation from Jesse Stommel , an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanitiesat University of Wisconsin-Madison. And it makes an interesting point.
‘Not knowing’ is an awkward but precise label for the starting point of learning.
The purpose of assessment can be thought of in ‘not knowing’ terms–not so much to find out what the student understands, but what they don’t understand. What they don’t ‘know.’ It’s about at this point that semantics get in the way, and start tangling themselves with basic epistemology. What does it mean to know? What does it mean to understand? How can understanding lead to competencies? Skills? Is there a difference between competencies and skills?
The current way student records and transcripts are managed is insufficient to meet the evolving needs of teachers, students, and parents. Only the most basic of information follows students into the classrooms they enter each year. Teachers have little visibility into the past performance of their students, what other teachers noted, or each learner’s strengths, weaknesses, and individual needs. New personalization technologies and the demand for differentiated instruction as a common strategy will only further place further strains the ecosystem of data systems and paper based records that form the patchwork of our current student records.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
I wonder how data systems are evolving in Australian schools - open, transparent, secure, and owned by the students?
Could the application of blockchain technology change the state of play?
How will you go digital? Share your favorite collection of digital classroom tools and resources by Feb 12 and you could win an Apple Watch!
Need inspiration? Keep DLDay going all year with this collection of free online resources for the classroom and beyond.
#EdTech Perspectives is a Digital Learning Day blog series dedicated to reflecting on key issues and challenges surrounding the use of digital learning.
On March 13, Digital Learning Day Live! will be webcast from the 2015 Teaching & Learning Conference. It highlights examples of how great teaching, combined with effective technology, are positively impacting America’s schools.
Not the Mitchell Pearces' of the world, who are a disgrace, but the men who are trying to make a difference in our kids' lives every day. Men like our own husbands, brothers and sons.
Without any evidence whatsoever they effectively labelled this man a potential paedophile.
Thousands of Perth parents are breathing an almost-guilty sigh of relief this morning as school goes back for another year. The holidays have flown by and for many there may now finally be a few minutes of uninterrupted peace.
At the same time, thousands of Perth teachers are ready for the new school year and wondering what daily challenges lie ahead for them.
Sadly, for male teachers, one unfair challenge is the creeping assumptions and sniggering developing in our society - just because they happen to be male.
Possible ninth planet roughly 10 times Earth’s mass
Planet may be hiding among solar system’s creation offcuts
Astronomy search began based on similar orbit anomaly
WHEN Pluto was demoted from planetary status to that of a dwarf planet, a lot of people were very upset and vocal, but now evidence is growing in favour of a new outlying ninth planet in our solar system.
“A sign of a reasonably good scientific theory is not only does it fix the problem you were trying to solve, but it also fixes a couple of other problems you hadn’t even thought about,” Curtin University astrophysicist Dr John Morgan says.
Debate following the Senate inquiry into children with disabilities in schools must not descend into a fight about funds, the speech pathologists’ peak body has said.
Speech Pathology Australia acknowledged that while funding is important for disability education, throwing money at an issue doesn’t always solve it.
“You could throw a lot of money at a school and the student still may not be included because the school may still not have the expertise and skills within its staff,” said Gaenor Dixon, Speech Pathology Australia national president. “I’d like to see the debate revolve around the whole facet of measures that can be taken to support kids with disability, so that they’re included and learning to their potential.”
Main street shopping key to making people walk around their neighbourhoods
Shorter blocks boost physical activity among residents
Mast-planned communities more walkable than smaller subdivisions
A COMMUNITY centre, a ‘main street’ layout, short blocks, footpaths and street trees are the best features for encouraging people to walk around their suburb, according to a study of Perth neighbourhoods.
The research found there are important ‘building blocks’ in creating a compact and connected neighbourhood that, if developers get right from the beginning, will give residents the option to walk in the future.
One of the most important elements for increasing physical activity is a destination to walk to, lead author and UWA research fellow Paula Hooper says.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Looks like we had the formula for healthy communities right a long time ago - trouble is we've followed a lot of dead ends in the past 50 years!!
Tetris, to some, is frustration incarnate. It’s repetitive! It’s impossible to win! It’s driven by luck! But to me, it became the truest representation of life there is. In comparison, chess is just a silly war game. I don’t play chess competitively anymore. But to this day, Tetris is the only game on my phone. It sits on the front page of my apps, a constant reminder that life is Tetris, not chess. I’ll make this distinction clear in four simple points. Maybe you’ve been playing the game wrong too.
By calling it “school” (rather than learning), and “a job” (rather than work), we’re unwittingly creating a tone of drudgery and compliance that centers the institutions and their processes (grades, academic success and performance), and de-centers the end result (skills–>understanding–>creativity–>wisdom).
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.